200 years is a long time. That's how long the stone cross has lain in the woods, broken into two parts. "My grandfather already told about it, says bertram becker. But the story is much older. Around 1320 to 1340 the cross in the flurabteilung "munnichholz" is (monchholz) was erected in burghausen. 46 years ago he helped to rebuild the broken cross, now bertram becker was the initiator for the transfer to a much more worthy place. And that was at the same time one of his last actions as a district local keeper.
Some stories resemble each other. In his function as district local historian, betram becker had already supported the state office for the preservation of historical monuments in the search for the mile bank on the schindberg, which the people of munnerstadt once dedicated to prince regent luitpold. The stone cross on the border between burghausen and haard was also considered untraceable by the authorities. But bertram becker knew better.
From the teutonic order
Many years ago, as a young teacher, he was involved in the creation of a collection of local history material on the cross that had probably been lying in the forest for 200 years. "It can be assumed that it had a function as a border stone between burghausen and haard and that it originates from the teutonic knights", he found out. Around 1240 the order came to munnerstadt, where he took over the parish.
"At this time the german lords received donations, among other things the michels chapel on the mountain with the villages of burghausen, reichenbach and windheim as zinsdorfer as well as vineyards on the michelsberg, fields and woods in the flur department monchholz." Near the original site of the cross, several old boundary stones with the cross of the german order and the date 1595 still mark the former ownership and the course of the border, says bertram becker. After the secularization, the order withdrew from munnerstadt around 1810, all possessions fell to the state.
"The communities of burghausen, reichenbach and windheim were placed under the jurisdiction of the bavarian district court of bad kissingen. The church communities of burghausen and reichenbach each received half of the destroyed michelskapelle chapel with its cemetery." The house of worship had burned down a few years earlier. So the cross and the ruins of the michelskapelle have a common history. But it was to take a few more years before the two came together.
In 1967, bertram becker was one of three young teachers at the association school in haard, who were members of the "german stone cross research" were and took care of the broken cross. "We'll put that up again", they decided to get help from walter kirchner, a blacksmith from burghausen at the time. "He did a fabulous job of fixing it up.", still praises bertram becker today. He has to search a bit until he finds the place where the cross was broken. After the repair, the team returned the cross to its old site, where it was forgotten over time, overgrown by hedges, shrubs and trees.
Very careful restoration
On the other hand, the church ruins on the michelsberg were not forgotten. In the 200 years since their destruction, the tooth had gnawed very hard on the walls. Several attempts to secure the ruin had failed. Then it worked out in 2007 after all. Under the leadership of bertram becker, the church ruins were very well preserved. Many people from burghausen and reichenbach put in countless hours of work in the process. Now the historic walls are safe from further decay.
After the conservation work on the ruins, the district curator also wanted to give the old cross a new look, both literally and figuratively. "The city is the owner of the monument, it has applied for its relocation", he says. But also the owner of the forest had to be asked.
Approved subject to conditions
From state office for historic preservation and the lower historic preservation authority in the district office had finally approved the application subject to conditions. One of the conditions was that an expert had to be called in. Thanks to the support of sponsors, hard-working helpers and the guidance of sculptor michael bauer, the cross was finally moved to its new place. This place was chosen deliberately. The cross stands exactly on the former boundary between burghausen and reichenbach, which ran through the middle of the church.
Due to the reorganization of the land, the area now belongs completely to burghausen. But the cross has another purpose. For centuries, the people of burghausen and reichenbach buried their dead directly at the house of god, as was customary at the time. During the excavation of the area during the conservation the helpers stumbled upon a lot of bones, which were collected and reburied in their original form. This is exactly where the cross now stands. When asked whether the cross is now secure for the next 100 years, bertram becker says: "I hope for much longer."
The whole area has become a special kind of excursion destination. Bertram becker and his helpers still take care of the maintenance. If the diptam is already bleeding in particular, the hobby gardener bertram becker may have helped a bit.
All roads are signposted
Not far from the church ruins, burghauser and reichenbacher blick are other very popular destinations for hikers. The easiest way to reach the church ruins is from the bus stop at the thorax center district of lower franconia. Vehicles can also be parked there. All roads are signposted.